The spoils of war?

The recent violence in the Middle East has resulted in the deaths of at least 437 Lebanese, more than 140 Palestinians and 51 Israelis, according to the latest reports. So which political party do you think would try to politically and financially exploit the Harper administration's controversial decision to back Israel in this time of crisis? Would it be the Liberals? Or perhaps the self-righteous New Democrats? Well...er...no. It's the Conservatives. In a fundraising email sent out this evening to the party faithful, Tory executive director Michael Donison writes "Our Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper was amongst the first of the world's leaders to take a principled stand on the new turmoil in the Mid-East. Since then, leaders the world over have risen to stand with Stephen Harper. Our nation has every reason to be proud. Admit it: Moral clarity feels a lot better than the endless equivocation we found with our previous government."

"But not everyone is grateful for the strong, clear direction of Canada's new government and this includes in particular the opposition parties who are only interested in maneuvering for party advantage," Mr. Donison continues. "And so, I must turn to you to ask for your support."

The email concludes by urging party members to make "a special contribution now of $150 or $75 to the Party today and help us be prepared to defend the decisive leadership of Stephen Harper and our New Conservative government." The following is a complete copy of that document.

***

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Finally - A Leader who's willing to stand up and take a tough stand
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 18:20:16 -0700
From: Conservative Fund Canada
Reply-To: donate@conservative.ca

En Francais | In English

During the last federal election, Stephen Harper promised to give Canada a principled foreign policy that advances and defends the Canadian values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. As Prime Minister, he is delivering.

Dear,

Our Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper was amongst the first of the world's leaders to take a principled stand on the new turmoil in the Mid-East. Since then, leaders the world over have risen to stand with Stephen Harper. Our nation has every reason to be proud.

Admit it: Moral clarity feels a lot better than the endless equivocation we found with our previous government.

But not everyone is grateful for the strong, clear direction of Canada's new government and this includes in particular the opposition parties who are only interested in maneuvering for party advantage.

And so, I must turn to you to ask you for your support. The fact is: the opposition is not thrilled with the growing strength of the Harper government and the resurgence of national pride Canadians are showing in their country. You need only look at their ceaseless machinations to see that they are doing everything in their power to bring this government down..

We must be ready for an election now because the opposition is blindly determined to drag the country to the polls, on any pretext they can contrive.

As a matter of public record, everyone knows the Conservative Party of Canada managed the last election without adding a dime to the Party's debt. You made that possible, it's just that simple. And if we intend to win the next election and win a majority - we need to continue moving heaven and Earth to be ready.

When an election comes, we will have just days to mount a campaign and ensure the continuance of the most dynamic and forward-looking Canadian government in recent memory. The time to lay the foundation is right now and we continue to need your help if this effort is to succeed.

It is a wonderful thing to be reminded of the power of ideals, principles in which we believe and on which we will act. We have had far too many years of vacillation on ideals and fundamental values about which the majority of Canadians are clear and certain.

Unsurprisingly, Don Martin got it just right in his July 20th National Post column, speaking of Prime Minister Harper, he wrote: " He's proven himself bold, imaginative and unpredictable. This is something refreshing on the Canadian political landscape - a leader willing to take risks to do what's right in the face of certain criticism. It stands him in stark and favourable contrast to the hesitant poll-driven Martin reign."

What did surprise me, though, were the private comments of a Liberal acquaintance, among them the following: " I have never been so proud to be Canadian. I'm thrilled that we're investing in our military. I'm thrilled that we're staying to finish a job in Afghanistan, and I'm ecstatic that we are finally taking a position on issues of global importance like what is happening in the Middle East. Please let Stephen Harper know that I've never been more proud of being a Canadian."

Ultimately, not everything is about party politics. Canadians know what's right and wrong and it is a great satisfaction even if one may not politically admit it - to have a government that has the courage to tell the plain truth.

This government is worth the fight; help us make sure we win the next election whenever it comes. We can expect an avalanche of Liberal fury to get back into power and a flood of media support for their effort. Help us keep the focus on principle and character and Canada's return to its place in the world.

I ask you to make a special contribution now of $150 or $75 to the Party today and help us be prepared to defend the decisive leadership of Stephen Harper and our New Conservative government.

With my sincere thanks,

Michael D. Donison
Executive Director, Conservative Party of Canada

P.S. - Your contribution is tax deductible. To find out the specific tax advantage of your contribution, we've provided a simple tax calculator. For more specific information on the rules governing personal contributions to political parties, click here.

If you prefer that I not contact you again by email, please click here.

Authorized by Conservative Fund Canada, Chief Agent of the Conservative Party of Canada.

28 Comments

Yes, it does feel better to have a clear foreign policy again, instead of a sick old regime groping for the "middle ground" between smart and stupid, or between good and evil.

Harper was in a no-win situation. If he had stated he had no stance, the Opposition would be all over him for being wimpy.

But these fundraising letters from the Conservatives are just as nauseating as those from the federal Liberals, the NDP and the BC Liberals.

They are always self-important a bit over the top in praise.

The fundraising letter makes a good Coke can coaster for the table next to the recliner chair in front of the TV. Just fold into quarters, press down flat and volia!

Yes it feels great to have a clear foreign policy again -- unfortunately, it's the americans. If this is what is meant when Harper said he'd 'Stand up for Canada', I'm missing the canadian part. Remember the good ol' days when our international reputation, maybe part myth but still felt around the globe, that Canada was a strong country with an independent vision that rarely followed the knee-jerk moves of neo-cons? People from other countries would put a Canadian flag on their bags because they knew it bought some respect. Now, in a matter of months and a few cold statements, it's gone. Canada is now part of the American mindset, where might means right. Heck yah, Israel has the right to protect its people and borders. But to launch bombs into another sovereign state, showing little compassion for those innocent people who are hardest hit, makes little sense. It also only helps the Hezzbollah and Hamas recruiting drives. Give your head a shake before you brain fart out loud!

Mike Donison (is he a lawyer and former Liberal?) has a point about "moral clarity". Prime Minister Harper's full frontal support for the Israeli position, even after IDF shelling and aerial bombardment killed a Canadian Major serving with the UN, is garnering support among the National Post crowd, who are being treated every day to an incredibly closed and doctored, yet thorough sounding account of what's happening in Lebanon and Israel.

Israel's actions are pure self defence, there is no issue of proportionality, and there is no talk of the fact that Isreal is a nuclear weapons state among Post readers.

In my own circle at work, I have heard Harper's approach, which is very Bush-like, being praised by people who are themselves quite unfriendly towards Bush. It's a real testament to the persuasive power of the National Post.

The body count from all sides is minor, if such a count was posted daily in WW1, the numbers would be, oh, slightly higher. Why is the public conned by the anti-war fools and Quislings now when back then hundreds of thousands of Canadians dyed to stop the extermination of various nations with the jewish people on the top of the list.

Oh, I forgot. George Bush backs Israel so it's okay if Israel and the Jews suffer another holocast.

This is disgusting. Way too early, and way too crass.

And, who quotes the media, and then says the media is out to get them in the same letter!?

The Liberals are planning to confront the government when it reconvenes this September and will force a non-confidence vote for an election in November.

But the Liberals have no leader yet, you say!

The fact is that the Liberal backroom executive have lost confidence in the current batch of leadership hopefuls and would prefer to force an early election with somebody like Graham as their expendable leader.

This would meet two objectives:

1. Hobble the Conservatives and Canada with another minority government subject to the whims of the opposition. Harper would avoid a third election and be forced to govern in weakness.

2. Liberals know they will not govern again so they might as well spare the party and the bunch of pathetic leadership hopefuls the insult of losing again.

Harper must win a majority government to govern properly, and if he only wins a minority, his leadership will be challenged .. and the Liberals hope so.

"Harper was in a no-win situation. If he had stated he had no stance, the Opposition would be all over him for being wimpy."

Not true. The opposition has plenty of other reasons to go after Harper. Harper still could have stated his support of Israel and called for restraint. Harper's only concern is to win a majority -- principals be damned -- he just couldn't resist pleasing Georgie on the world stage. Calling Israel's response "measured" was a mistake he would take back if given the chance. He knows how poorly that played in Quebec and it's going to cost him.

According to the National Post, Israel is a small, weak, innocent country. It is constantly under siege by fanatical islamist Arabs armed to the teeth in what has become a two front war.

It is only appropriate for Israel, with its tiny war machine to try to contain the evil forces intent upon its destruction.

This would also seem to be the view of our current prime minister and his colleagues. No wonder he wants to line himself and Canada up with poor, oppressed Israel. Who wouldn't if that was what we all believed to be the truth.

The bombs landing in Beirut, sadly, shake the faith of some.

Donison was/is a Duncan lawyer... was MLA assistant Victoria and is related to the Grey's of Victoria. He is spin doctor for the CPC since the election and side-kick of Sandra Buckler (Mulroney team aid).... rounding Reform-Mulroney media team merger in the PMO.... and apparently part of the war-mongering crowd too.

Donison and I recently did battle over the CPC attempt to cover up who Linda Toews is and their party's involvement in cheque-swapping (conventation-donation-gate). See:

http://bestandbetter.blogspot.com/2006/07/cpoc-convention-gate-linda-toews-cover.html

"According to the National Post, Israel is a small, weak, innocent country. It is constantly under siege by fanatical islamist Arabs armed to the teeth in what has become a two front war.

It is only appropriate for Israel, with its tiny war machine to try to contain the evil forces intent upon its destruction."

Bob, I don't know what you've been reading, but nowhere have I read the Post to say Israel is a "weak" country, or one with a "tiny war machine."

I've been there Bob. It is a small country. Laughingly small. Smaller than Vancouver Island and penned in by hostile neighbours who fire thousands (to date) of missiles at its civilian population and send their sons and daughters to blow themselves to smitherines on buses and in pizza shops. I know Bob, because I was at the Sbarro pizza shop in 2001, about 1 hour before a Hamas maniac killed 15, injured 130 and created a scene strewn with pizza slices and body parts. I know Bob, because I've visted some of the towns now under attack. It is a country under seige. A country that has been under seige since 1948. A country that, luckily, has suffered proportionately fewer civilian casualties because every city, town, village and farm has an extensive network of bomb shelters.

It is entirely appropriate for Israel to protect its citizens and its very existence by trying "to contain the evil forces intent upon its destruction". Would you suggest otherwise? It is equally appropriate for the Canadian government, representing a country that has send hundreds of thousands of its own citizens to fight in Europe, Africa and Asia to contain the evil forces intent upon Europe, Africa and Asia's destruction and subjugation, to vocally support Israel.

"I've been there Bob. It is a small country. Laughingly small. Smaller than Vancouver Island and penned in by hostile neighbours who fire thousands (to date) of missiles ..."

In what capacity were you there? What exactly did you think was laughable about Isael's strategic situation? It may be smaller than Vancouver Island, but so are most of the Great Powers of Europe, so what is the relevant criteria? How many of those thousands of missiles were capable of carrying major payloads? Is Israel a nuclear weapons state? Does it have several hundred nuclear warheads read ro roll?

Israel has a legitimate issue with Hezbollah. And, neither the Lebaneese government nor Israel want Hezbollah in Lebanon. Nevertheless, Israel's bombing of Lebanneese civilians and their infrastructure does nothing to address Israel's issues with Hezbollah.

Significantly, there is the longstanding plight of millions of Palestinians who will gain nothing from the current conflict.

Of direct interest to us, the question facing Canadians is why has Steve Harper given blanket endoresment of military action even when that action includes non-military targets that placed/places innocent Canadian civilians under direct deadly fire.

Bleeding hearts and rabid left coasters.....those are the anti-Israel crew commenting here.

Sides issues and nonsense. That's what they spew.

When was the last time we heard the demented leader of Iran (who is behind this little escapade) mention that Israel should be wiped from the map? Yesterday. When before that? Why, the day before and almost everyday before that.....this whole issue started with Israeli blood being spilled by Hezbollah, period full stop. Israel is completely justified to defend itself in a war theatre in which it was involuntarily encamped.

The blithering fools writing above about how the PM is wrong are political toadies. Who cares about fundraising letters (no matter the party, they are always nauseating)? Who cares about who has nuclear capabilities Budd? Did you ask about Iran? No. Hypocrite.

Almost 75% of Lebanon are supportive of Hezbollah. If they die, they die.

Where are the alternatives to war? There are none, another Holocaust will ensue.

My support to the gallant people of Israel--always.

Shalom indeed--if only.

"those are the anti-Israel crew commenting here."

Typical right wing BS: question the amount of force the Israeli administration is using and you're "anti-israel", or worse "anti-Semitic".

Where have we seen this before? Oh yeah, question the US administration going into Iraq and you're "anti-American".

It's a stupid and unproductive way of thinking.

75% of Lebanon are supportive of Hezbollah? Do you have verifiable statistics to support this claim?

"If they die, they die". Really progressive thinking there. Perhaps we Canadians should remember that should you be caught up in an unfortunate event.

The hypcritical, factless, accusations vomitted forth by Conservative Party members who are focused on ideology rather than reality.

The point is, sir, Stephen Harper campaign for the last two years on morality, and self-righteousness. Canadians are beginning to see those were just words. And you Conservatives are afraid, hence the death threats, commentaries of genocide of muslims, and all the other ideological blather put forth by the Conservative Party members. This is NOT the Canada I believe in, and the Conservatives have proven since DAY 1 of being elected, that they do not represent the Canada, my grandfather fought for.

Geez, it's a fundraising letter, meant to push the buttons of a certain group of people (i.e., potential donors and/or swing voters). To analyze it objectively is a tad disingenuous, if not actually a little bit silly.

There are no 'great powers' in Europe anywhere as small as Vancouver Island.

At the end of the day Israel is a small country with few or new resources. It is the only country that operates as democracy in the region and the only one with a free press. It is also under constant threat by the far right islamic fascist movements.

One could ask why Lebanon has not banned Hezzbollah. I am certain that the government could have asked for troops from the UN to actively disarm Hezzbollah and then sent the leadership to the Hague for the war crimes tribunal.

One could ask why Syria and Saudi Arabia are allowed to continue anti-semitism. Why are they not expelled from the UN?

What would have been appropriate response from Israel when the global fascist right is calling for the extermination of the Jews? What else can Israel do but hit back so hard that no one can think of attacking them?

I am pacifist by religious conviction and this is an easy path to follow in Canada and most of the world, but in Israel it would be almost impossible if you were Jewish. How could one be a pacifist when you are surronded by people bent on genocide?

The time has come for the western nations to demand that all the arab nations support Israel actively in rooting out all anti-semites by prosecuting anyone that attacks Israel.

The Imans and Mullahs have to come out in 100% support of Israel and make it clear that anyone attacking a Jew is damned.

Genocide remains genocide and too many arabic political parties and religious leaders are calling for it.

Respectfully Drummer boy you are missing the point.

The point is that is is morally reprehensible to leverage the abject misery of people in the middle east on both sides of this conflict to raise money for the Conservative Party of Canada. Regardless of what your views on this difficult and complicated issue are, it shows poor judgement and an intense lack of morals on the part of Harper's party.

Geez, people are dying left right and center over there. Children, women, canadians under the UN banner, familes are being destroyed and Harper wants to raise money on their backs? Give me a break! Canada's foriegn policy is not a political tool to help Stephen Harper fill his party's coffers.

"There are no 'great powers' in Europe anywhere as small as Vancouver Island."

Isreal has a standing army larger than almost all European countries and is directly backed by the US - both militarily and monitarily. Israel can put more armed troops into combat within 72 hours than the US's current standing army. Israel is one of the largest miltary powers in the world - including nuclear.

"At the end of the day Israel is a small country with few or new resources."

It receives billions in annual support formally from the US and billions more informally.


"It is the only country that operates as democracy in the region and the only one with a free press."

Turkey has been democratic since WWI


"It is also under constant threat by the far right islamic fascist movements."

Yup - you are correct on the above point... but not from the Lebaneese government, Egypt, Turkey or even Jordon, and currently not Iraq.

"One could ask why Lebanon has not banned Hezzbollah."

Hezbollah is an occupying force is southern Lebannon backed by Syrian and Iran - The Lebaneese don't have the force to do anything about it.... less so now that they have been invaded against by another foreign power.

"I am certain that the government could have asked for troops from the UN to actively disarm Hezzbollah and then sent the leadership to the Hague for the war crimes tribunal."

The Lebaneese have been asking for help for years. The EU has supported them for years. The US has stopped it.

"One could ask why Syria and Saudi Arabia are allowed to continue anti-semitism. Why are they not expelled from the UN?"

oil

"What would have been appropriate response from Israel when the global fascist right is calling for the extermination of the Jews? What else can Israel do but hit back so hard that no one can think of attacking them? "

Hit the right targets and not civilians.

"I am pacifist by religious conviction and this is an easy path to follow in Canada and most of the world, but in Israel it would be almost impossible if you were Jewish. How could one be a pacifist when you are surronded by people bent on genocide?"

Clearly you are not a pacifist.


The time has come for the western nations to demand that all the arab nations support Israel actively in rooting out all anti-semites by prosecuting anyone that attacks Israel.

The Imans and Mullahs have to come out in 100% support of Israel and make it clear that anyone attacking a Jew is damned.

Genocide remains genocide and too many arabic political parties and religious leaders are calling for it.


There are no 'great powers' in Europe anywhere as small as Vancouver Island.

At the end of the day Israel is a small country with few or new resources. It is the only country that operates as democracy in the region and the only one with a free press. It is also under constant threat by the far right islamic fascist movements.

One could ask why Lebanon has not banned Hezzbollah. I am certain that the government could have asked for troops from the UN to actively disarm Hezzbollah and then sent the leadership to the Hague for the war crimes tribunal.

One could ask why Syria and Saudi Arabia are allowed to continue anti-semitism. Why are they not expelled from the UN?

What would have been appropriate response from Israel when the global fascist right is calling for the extermination of the Jews? What else can Israel do but hit back so hard that no one can think of attacking them?

I am pacifist by religious conviction and this is an easy path to follow in Canada and most of the world, but in Israel it would be almost impossible if you were Jewish. How could one be a pacifist when you are surronded by people bent on genocide?

The time has come for the western nations to demand that all the arab nations support Israel actively in rooting out all anti-semites by prosecuting anyone that attacks Israel.

The Imans and Mullahs have to come out in 100% support of Israel and make it clear that anyone attacking a Jew is damned.

Genocide remains genocide and too many arabic political parties and religious leaders are calling for it.

Almost 75% of Lebanon are supportive of Hezbollah. If they die, they die.
...

Shalom indeed--if only.

Posted by A. G. Tsakumis on July 28, 2006 11:13 AM

I am kind of surprised, Mr Tsakumis, I thought you had more sense than this. I assume this is just a bit of hyperbole on your part.

Surely you're not suggesting that a five or ten year old kid who lives in a building that the IDF destroys because some rocket fire was attributed to it has gotten his or her just deserts? Anymore than a comparable five year old kid in Israel who is struck by one of Hezbollahs rockets has deserved death or injury.

Indeed, in terms of attributing responsibility to the surrounding civilian population, if you have a fifteen storey apartment building in Beirut, and there are over 100 suites in it, of which five are occupied by Hezbollah terrorists, what percentage of the remaining occupants of that building do you think should be held responsible for their actions, up to and including losing their lives? How many of them even know, and what can they do about it if they do know?

From the limited information at the BC Law Society website, it appears that Micheal D. Donison began practice in 1977. He has since stopped. From this I kind of think he's almost certainly the Mike Donison I once knew at UVic in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when he was a very strong federal and provincial Liberal. Also current at the time was Bud Smith, another lawyer who has had a political career.

I think people from Vancouver and the rest of the Mainland don't always appreciate just how much influence UVic and its graduates have had.

Budd,

Donison was the ministerial assistant to HON. MR. PHILLIPS in 1981 - there was no Reform Party at that time.

He is the grandson of Marjorie Gray of Victoria, which I think makes him the nephew of Deb Grey (former boss of Stephen Harper). Someone may want to check the exact family relation to be sure.

He's been a Duncan lawyer until recently... at NEWCOMB & COMPANY

Check out the Reaside cartoon of today. Harper so badly wants to be a big guy but his words have only ensured he will not get himself into an election as he is losing ground in Ontario and Quebec. And all this with no leader for the Liberals. How many more people will have to die till the big boys tell the two sides to stop and George quits sending smart bombs to blow up UN workers,and a lot of civilians. George Bush and Tony Blair are trying to dig themsleves out of a mess they were supporting. Poor old Steven would give his eye teeth to be able to stand center stage with either of them. I doubt he will be given the chance. We have no extra troops sitting around and Steve has already said he doesn't like the idea of a contribution to keep the two sides apart. so just what options does he have? well not much. Maybe he might have thought things over before he got Decisive so quickly.

Eugene, you have two different spellings there, Gray and Grey.

The Mike Donison I knew at UVic might well have become a provincial Socred by the early 1980s, just as had Tory Bud Smith, or Liberal Bob Plecas. In the early 1970s, the Donison I knew was a Liberal supporter at both levels.

Uncle wrote, "Bob, I don't know what you've been reading, but nowhere have I read the Post to say Israel is a "weak" country, or one with a "tiny war machine." "

Try reading the day before yesterday's Post, uncle. The entire paper read like an Israeli propaganda piece. This is the essential posture of the Israel faction around the world. The National Post is simply the purveyor of their views. It leaks into the national media everywhere, where we see as much coverage given to the folks who are injured in Israel as to the folks who are killed in Lebanon.

The rest of your post simply supports my thesis. You seem to see the world in the terms I proposed. Poor, defenseless Israel,surrounded by Islamist Arab fanatics who are ready at any moment to drive the Israelis into the sea. No wonder you are so supportive of Mr. Harper and Mr. Olmert. It only makes sense, given your world view

It would seem your experience in Israel made a great impression on you. Perhaps you should go to Lebanon and live there for ten years as a Lebanese. It would be a good experience for you and might open your eyes to another perspective.

Eugene, you're such an incompentent spin doctor.

1. Although you keep stating that Mike Donison is Duncan lawyer, he lived in the Victoria riding and was an active member of the Reform Party, the Canadian Alliance Party and probably the PC Party prior to Reform.

2. Mike Donison was an Ottawa staffer under the Joe Clark Govt.

3. Mike came up to Ottawa to work for the Canadian Alliance and served in a few positions prior becoming Executive Director of the CPC. Most of that time, he served as Research Director of the OLO.

4. Your "cheque swapping" jihad against the CPC because you were rejected as a candidate has run it's course. Fooling Barbara Yaffe is one thing but your premise is wrong and the Elections Canada's website proves it.

George

PS. Budd, Mike taught one course at UVic "Law and Politics" poli 202 if I recall.

Thanks George, but I am still thinking it may be the same Mike Donison I once knew at UVic. I wasn't aware that he had switched to a Conservative federal orientation as early as the Joe Clark years, but that's possible I suppose.

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